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I am a research professor at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. My research focuses on robotic exploration: underwater, on the surface, and in air and space, and in the necessary ingredients of perception, planning, learning and control for robot autonomy.
My work spans conceptual and algorithm design through to field experimentation and results in mobile robots that explore the difficult, dangerous, and usually dirty places on Earth, in the service of scientific and technical investigations. Much of this work is relevant to ongoing and future space activities.
Research and development of mobile robotic systems involves complex systems engineering and is aided by effective software engineering practice. In a useful parallel, I teach System Engineering.
If you really want excruciating detail, here is my curriculum vitae.
I was an NRC postdoctoral research associate at the NASA Ames Research Center working with the intelligent robotics group. We developed technologies for robotic exploration, which involved building robots, control architectures, and interfaces: virtual, telepresent, or othersuch.
I also continued work on an architecture for autonomous exploration for the Marsokhod based on visually-guided navigation. We completed testing in the Painted Desert of Arizona but continue working on refinements.
In my spare time, I lead research in dexterous locomotion--exploring architectures, control methods, and mechanisms for stable legged locomotion in very rough terrain.
I completed my doctorate in Robotics at the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. There I began my affiliation with the Field Robotics Center. I also began my work on walking robots, developing planning and control algorithms for the Ambler, a large six-legged walking robot. I helped establish the work in science rovers by instigating the Dante projects. Dante is a robot designed to explore volcanic craters and collect information about their physical properties and activity. Dante's expeditions have taken it (and me) to Mount Erebus, Antarctica and to Mount Spurr, Alaska.
Hyperion (at left)